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Why we can't cover everyone

Vintage car surrounded by buildings in the sun

In brief

We’re doing our best to give foreign drivers a fair price on their car insurance. We’ve established a set of rules which should help us achieve this goal by decreasing our risks. But, this method has a downside: as a result, we can’t insure everyone.

Sadly, at this stage, it is impossible for us to cover the oldest or most powerful cars. Drivers with a complex driving history might get excluded as well, as they would be more likely to claim. Our system also has limitations: when faced with illogical pieces of information, it might fail to give potential customers an estimate for their car insurance.

We’re constantly working on improving our quote system, and expanding the range of people we can cover. So being excluded today doesn’t mean we will never be able to give you a quote! For example, we are now able to cover drivers who had a claim before.

Old cars

Vintage car lovers might not be happy to hear it, but as glamorous as old cars can be, they're still more difficult to insure than recent ones, and that for several reasons.

Cars suffer from the effects of time and weather exposure, and become more likely to break. Even when carefully looked after, some parts weaken over time and can cause vehicle failure.

Over the years, car manufacturers have developed multiple technologies to make their vehicles safer, both for the passengers and from theft. Driving aids and safety devices are some of the numerous factors that explain the massive decrease in road casualties in the past 30 years (according to the UK Department of Transports, they fell by about 50% since 1979)1. Even though repairs are often cheaper on older cars, they are more likely to get damaged in an accident, and their passengers injured.

Older vehicles often are easy targets for car thieves, because their security systems aren't as developed as recent ones, and robbers have more experience at getting past them. Some models are also known to be easier to steal than others. Hence, we would take a much bigger risk in insuring cars 15 years or older (10 for some other insurers).

Powerful cars

The more powerful a car is, the more risk there is it will get involved in an accident. The likelihood a driver will lose control of the vehicle increases with the speed, as does the attention needed to avoid external danger.

Powerful cars are often considered as desirable. Although they can be equipped with good safety devices, car thieves would try to steal them anyway for their value and prestige.

Both of these points also apply to cars that have been modified to improve their performance or appearance. It is in general riskier for companies to insure these vehicles, as these modifications might conflict with security measures. In an accident, modified parts might cause more damage to the car and its driver, and will be more expensive to repair.

We try our best to accept as many cars as possible, but we sometimes have to exclude them if they have been modified or are too powerful, in order to keep our premiums as low as possible. These restrictions might change as we grow!



Your driving history

As a car insurance provider, we calculate your premium based on the car you drive, but also the way you drive it. Keeping our premiums low can only be achieved by trusting our customers will do their best to drive safely. Logically, it will be riskier for us to insure a driver who claims regularly, and has been convicted many times for road offences. The assumption here is that people who tend to drive recklessly are more likely to get involved in an accident, and least likely to suddenly start to drive carefully.

Of course, we understand accidents do happen to any kind of driver, which is why recent events have much more impact on premiums, and are at risk of being filtered out by our algorithm. Reversely, older incidents will affect your premium to a lesser extent, and will be compensated by your years of claim-free driving, as we would give you additional discount for each year of No Claims Bonus proven.



The details you've entered don't add up

Knowing our customers helps us to keep our premiums low. By identifying fraud and inaccurate information early in our sign up process, we can focus on providing quality service at the best prices to our current customers. In the event of a claim, your cover might be affected if the details you gave us aren't correct!  This is why our systems are trained to detect incoherent information.

When you get a quote with us, you'll be asked to fill in a few details to allow our pricing algorithm to tailor your premium to your specific needs. If some of your answers are logically incompatible, then our system might reject your quote. That's why we ask you to make sure all the details provided are as accurate as possible. Please note that we would not penalise spelling mistakes, or errors due to inattention, as our aim is to identify misinformation.

If in doubt about the answers expected in the sign up flow, our friendly team is always a message away. They're trained to deal with customers from all over the world, and will be happy to guide you through the process!



Conclusion

In general, the riskier your car and behaviour on the road, the most likely it is that our system would exclude you. But it also allows us to insure some drivers who have made claims, or have been convicted, or have a car more powerful than average, if all the other elements of their quotes are less risky.

We do our best to give foreigners living in the UK equal access to fair financial products, and our business is constantly evolving to reach this goal. If we've haven't been able to give you a price today, please bear in mind that the range of customers we can cover will increase as we grow. Keep an eye out for our latest innovations!

If you're looking for an insurer who understands it's not always easy being a foreigner in the UK, get a quote with Marshmallow! It only takes two minutes.

Josephine
Customer happiness supervisor

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